Safety in Retail Consumer Fireworks Sales May Be Cut from NFPA 1124

A significant change may soon be made in NFPA 1124, which since 2003 has included minimum fire and life safety requirements for the retail sale of consumer fireworks. NFPA announced Feb. 12 that its Standards Council, having reviewed an October 2007 report by the Fire Protection Research Foundation, is considering revising the scope of the Technical Committee on Pyrotechnics, which is responsible for NFPA 1124, so that it no longer covers the retail sale of consumer fireworks and revising the scope of NFPA 1124 to exclude retail sales of consumer fireworks. The council has set a June 2 public hearing and will accept written comments until May 9.

The report, "Fire Safety in Consumer Fireworks Storage and Retail Facilities -- Hazard Assessment," summarizes research data on hazards associated with retail sale of consumer fireworks and identifies research needed to develop appropriate facility fire safety provisions. The council issued a decision that says the report "raises serious concerns regarding the technical basis for the requirements of Chapter 7, and calls into question whether sufficient research and other technical substantiation exists to support meaningful standards development in this area."

The public hearing will take place from 8-11 a.m. June 2 in conjunction with NFPA's World Safety Conference and Exposition in Las Vegas. Written comments may be e-mailed to stds_admin@nfpa.org or mailed to: Codes and Standards Administration, NFPA, One Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02169.

Visit www.nfpa.org/assets/files//PDF/Research/PyrotechnicsLiteratureReview.pdf to read the 77-page report. NFPA's announcement notes that the organization "has a long standing position against any use by the general public of fireworks" but agreed in 1999 to requests that, in the interests of public safety, Technical Committee on Pyrotechnics should develop standards governing the retail sale and storage of consumer fireworks. The NFPA 1124 standard's title is Code for the Manufacture, Transportation, Storage, and Retail Sales of Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles.

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